Monday night was something I’d been anticipating for months. I got to see Sleigh Bells, and it was a wild ride. I have to give a shout out to my very good friend Kat, who recently told me about the truth that is Sleigh Bells. Doldrums opened. I had actually saw them last year when the opened for Crystal Castles, and they had a vastly different sound from then. More upbeat, more dance inducing. Give Doldrums a listen, and enjoy the awesomeness that is my review of the awesomeness that is Sleigh Bells. Enjoy.
Warning: Sleigh Bells is not Christmas music, proceed with caution
Like I said, I just recently got into Sleigh Bells. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been treated to Treats and Born to Lose. Both are Noise pop gems that are loud as hell. I was excited for Bitter Rivals and even more excited for this show. Neither disappointed. However, I went in with a little skepticism. I’d heard that Sleigh Bells isn’t up to snuff live, but my expectations were blown away. Their energy was, to use a term usually only given to WWE Superstars, electrifying, and given that Alexis Krauss came out wearing a boxing robe makes that term even more acceptable. I’ll note that Firestone was (excuse my wording) fucking freezing on Monday, but by the second song everyone was sweating.
Sleigh Bells opened with “Minnie,” the third song off of Bitter Rivals, which was very left field. I applaud them for being able to pull one over on the crowd, but it was a little strange. The set consisted of flurry of Sleigh Bells’ three albums, with heavy emphasis on Bitter Rivals. That’s something I’ve grown to expect when you’re seeing a band whose just put out a new album, and the songs didn’t feel out-of-place, so it was fine. “Bitter Rivals” and “You Don’t Get Me Twice,” the first two songs released from Bitter Rivals, were actually two of the most well received songs of the night. It’s crucial to note, that Sleigh Bells recently added a drummer to their live shows. I imagine some of the complaints I’d heard were fixed with this new edition. The drummer, along with a second guitar player, helped fill out their live presence, and made the Sleigh Bells show more like seeing a traditional four-piece band. Krauss herself portrayed the front-woman swagger like a combination of Axl Rose and Lil Kim. She paraded around the stage, dancing and interacting with the crowd, both physically and verbally.
Anytime a song from Treats was played the crowd went insane, and although I would have liked to hear more, I left feeling satisfied. The night’s highlights were a short lived mosh pit during “Riot Rhythm,” the chest pounding guitar on “True Shred Guitar,” and the closer “A/B Machines,” a song that I liked way more live than the studio recording, and a song were Krauss dove into the crowd. If you haven’t listened to Sleigh Bells, go do it. If they’re coming to a city near you, go see them!
Listen to Sleigh Bells’ whole set: